2 Palestinians shot dead while attacking Israeli security forces

Soldier lightly to moderately hurt in Hebron stabbing; policeman uninjured in attempted assault near Jerusalem

Rescue personnel arrive at the scene of a Palestinian knife attack on an IDF soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron on October 17, 2015 (photo courtesy of Magen David Adom)
Rescue personnel arrive at the scene of a Palestinian knife attack on an IDF soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron on October 17, 2015 (photo courtesy of Magen David Adom)

Two Palestinians were shot dead Saturday evening as they carried out separate attacks on Israeli security forces in the West Bank. The two attacks, carried out in different locations within a short period of time, brought to five the number of assaults on Israeli targets in one day.

A Palestinian stabbed an IDF soldier in Hebron on Saturday evening, in the third such attack in the city, a frequent flashpoint where a few hundred Jews live in close proximity to tens of thousands of Palestinians.

The soldier was lightly to moderately wounded and evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem, the IDF said. The attacker was shot at the site by two soldiers, Walla said, and died shortly after reaching hospital. The Shin Bet security service named the attacker as 16-year-old Tareq Netsha from Hebron, who had not previously been known to the security forces.

A short time later, a Palestinian tried to stab a Border Police officer at the Qalandiya checkpoint that leads from the West Bank into Jerusalem. The policeman was unhurt as the knife was blocked by the body armor he was wearing.

Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the policeman shot and wounded his attacker, then killed him after the attacker tried again to stab him as he attempted to take the knife away.

Jewish residents of Hebron briefly blocked access for the military ambulance that was evacuating the Palestinian stabber, puncturing one of the wheels on the vehicle. The ambulance later left the scene of the attack, taking the assailant to Hadassah, where he died of his injuries.

In the first attack of the day, a Palestinian woman was shot dead Saturday morning by the policewoman she tried to stab near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

The female attacker arrived at a Border Police base and knifed the policewoman, who sustained minor hand injuries. The police officer shot and killed the assailant, who was later identified as 16-year-old Bian Asila from Hebron.

Hours later, a Palestinian man died of his wounds after being shot by an Israeli man he had tried to stab in a Jewish area of Hebron. The attacker was identified by Palestinian and Hebrew media reports as Fadel Muhammad Kawasmeh, 18, a resident of the city.

According to initial reports, Kawasmeh approached his would-be victim, pulled out a knife and lunged; he was shot by the Israeli man, who was unhurt in the attempted attack.

Also Saturday, a Palestinian teenager was shot dead in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood when he tried to stab Border Police officers. There were no reports of injuries among the security forces.

According to the IDF, the teen was stopped for routine questioning in the capital amid heightened tensions, before pulling out a knife and attempting to stab the officers. He was later identified by Palestinian media as Muataz Awisat, 16, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.

Saturday’s incidents were the latest in a spate of near-daily attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces across Israel and in the West Bank.

Since October 1, seven Israelis have been killed and dozens injured in 30 separate stabbing or attempted stabbing attacks by Palestinian assailants.

On the Palestinian side, 40 have been killed so far, including 18 attackers. The rest died in clashes with IDF troops either in the West Bank or along the Gaza border. Two of the casualties, a pregnant woman and her two-year-old daughter, were killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on October 11, which came in response to an earlier rocket attack.

AFP contributed to this report

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